Soil sampling and testing can show you the plant available nutrients and other soil chemical factors important for production. Nutrient levels in soil vary from year to year, so it is important to perform soil sampling and testing prior to planting any new crop. Below are the steps to taking a soil sample.
April to Thanksgiving Soil Sample processing is Free! December-March $4/sample. Visit our office to pick-up your boxes and forms for sampling Now!
Download the Soil Sample form here.
Never done a soil sample, that's ok! Here's How:
- Obtain soil sample boxes and information sheet from the Cooperative Extension Service office, local garden center, or farm supply dealer. Choose a day when the soil is not frozen or too wet since under these conditions, soil will not mix thoroughly. The soil should be in a loose condition and break apart easily.
- Clean up the area to be sampled. Remove roots, rocks, pieces of wood, glass, wire, excess organic matter, and other foreign material. Avoid taking soil from wet spots, washed out areas, ditches, tree stump holes, fertilizer bands, or other abnormal spots within the sampling area.
- Obtain a clean, plastic bucket and a clean spade, shovel, or probe for collecting the individual soil cores that will make up the sample. DO NOT expose the soil sample to galvanized containers, dirty tools, fertilizer, or chemicals that may contaminate it.
- Use the spade or sampling tool to get a soil core or slice (about a handful) from each of 8 to 10 different places scattered over the sampling area. (For lawns or gardens approximately an acre in size, 15 to 20 cores would be better). Sample established lawns to a depth of about 4 inches; otherwise, sample to about 6 inches or plow depth. Be sure that each soil core attormly represents (top, middle, and bottom to the specified depth) the spot where it is taken.
- Put each soil core into the clean, plastic bucket. After sampling, stir up the cores and mix them thoroughly to obtain a good soil sample, representative of the sampling area. Fill soil sample box with the mixed soil and discard extra soil.
- Write your name, address, and sample number on the box. An information sheet that comes with the boxes must also be filled out and mailed to the Soil Testing Lab. Send to: Agronomic Division, N. C. Department of Agriculture, 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 27607-6465.
- You should be able to review your soil test report within approximately two weeks, by clicking here . If you need assistance with interpretation of the results, you may call or visit our office for assistance.
Please contact us with any questions you have.
Our Office Phone: 336-838-3622 ext. 3 (M-F 8am-5pm)